I was born in Beijing in 1957. In that year both Chinese and Western medicine were available in China, and people could choose between Chinese or Western medicine depending on their family background and personal experiences.
I grew up in a family that was influenced more by Western culture. My father studied Law at Peking University. However, the government changed after he graduated and he was not allowed to practice his profession. He then taught mathematics at high school.
My mother was a principal of a primary school. My other relatives including aunts, uncles and cousins studied engineering and Western medicine. No one else in my family at that time had ever tried Chinese medicine.
After my high school examinations, I was unsure of what I should choose to study. At the time, my mother told me this story:
When I was three years old, I became very sick with a high fever during the hot Beijing summer. For three weeks I was treated at several hospitals. I received lots of injections and medicines but I didn’t get better.
Our elderly neighbour who saw that I was becoming exhausted and very weak, recommended an old Chinese doctor to my parents. She said that every time her grandchildren fell ill she took them to see him. So my parents took me to the Chinese medicine hospital to see the this Chinese medicine doctor. That was the first time my family ever tried Chinese medicine.
The old Chinese doctor checked my pulse, tongue, signs and symptoms, and finally he said my high temperature was due to the heat and toxins in my intestines. He gave me some medicine to clear my internal heat. The second day after I took the herbs my temperature started to fall, and three days later my fever was gone.
My mother told me that this old doctor saved my life. Though my illness, my family started to understand Chinese medicine. Finally, my mother said to me, “why don’t you study Chinese medicine? In the future you can help others too.” I was very impressed by this story and this is why I chose to study Chinese medicine.
In the thirty-four years since I began my studies in 1978, I have never stopped practicing Chinese medicine. During this time I have worked in hospitals and clinics, and taught Chinese medicine in both China and Australia.
Director, Chinese Medicine Practitioner